At the December all-faculty meeting, a quorum of 101 was needed to approve an amendment to the student code of conduct that would expand the code to include off-campus activities.
Despite widespread faculty support and approval from UI students, not enough faculty were present to approve the changes.
Expanding the student code of conduct is a necessary step in ensuring the safety of students and is a key process in updating the code.
The fact that only 80 faculty members out of the 808 eligible to vote on expanding the student code cared enough to show up to approve the changes is shameful.
Considering faculty on satellite campuses could be teleconferenced into the meeting, the senate should have had no problems reaching the required number of faculty members needed to pass the measure. Not to mention the change has been widely publicized, and faculty senate and student leaders have been working on expanding the code for almost a year.
However, faculty cannot take all of the blame for this debacle. UI administrators with interest in the student code of conduct could have gone to greater lengths to inform faculty of the impending vote. Especially considering the winter all-faculty meeting traditionally doesn’t have a quorum and consistently has lower attendance.
The effects of not passing this measure are not severe, but will cause an already difficult and laborious process to be extended.
One of the next opportunities to approve the amendment will be at the next all-faculty meeting at the end of next semester.
The other opportunity to approve the amendment involves Interim President Don Burnett, who can issue an emergency decision to implement the expansion of the present student code to off-campus activities for 180 days until the April meeting.
Burnett should take the opportunity to approve the changes and give UI administrators the power they need to intervene when necessary and keep students safe.